More like two fox and two ducks.  (Maybe it’s foxes?  Foxen, like oxen?  Whatever.)

The problem is,  Aaron and Allie were the ducks and their parents were the fox(es, en…) and I was in charge of them all.

The kids were at a supervised visit when I got a call from the supervisor that Aaron was having a medical issue.  Not life-threatening, but not good by any means.  So I called his ped and they, of course, advised us to take him to the ER.

Did I mention I was far from home, at an event with Daughter, and I didn’t have any of Aaron’s insurance cards or papers?

We arranged to meet at the ER.  I left Daughter with a friend of ours at the event – lucky she was there and I need to bake a loaf of banana bread for her for thanks.  I rushed home for Aaron’s paperwork, then rushed back to the ER.  I had, ironically, been just blocks from the ER at the above event.  Wait, that’s not irony, that’s just annoying.

And so began my 7 hours with Aaron, Allie, and their parents.  Even after that much time together, I don’t understand them.  I don’t understand how they think.  But I do see their patterns and issues.

I understand now why Aaron asks questions over and over and why he interrupts conversations all the time.  Because his parents ignore him and don’t notice him talking.  Or if he’s talking to them, they will completely interrupt him to start talking to someone else (about something completely different.)  He gets verbally confusing messages from his parents, and I can see the gears grinding in his head, trying to figure it out.

Example: Mom hands him a book that is too difficult for him to read, and tries to get him to read it to her.  She tells him “You can do it!  You can read it!”  She’s doing it in a positive, encouraging voice, but the problem is, positive encouraging voices don’t make a difference to the fact the kid can only read about 10 words.  And I could see the confusion and conflict on his face that he couldn’t or didn’t articulate.  Actually, he did try to tell her he couldn’t, but she completely interrupted and overrode him, repeatedly telling him he could.

That would be hard enough for a typical kid, but for a kid with developmental and neurological problems, it’s so sad to watch.

So at the time, the logistical problem was that they technically weren’t supposed to be alone with the kids.  But there’s only one of me.  And sometimes I have to go to the bathroom.  So rules were briefly broken, but I wasn’t even comfortable going to the cafeteria to get dinner without them, so I just suffered through my hunger until I got home at 10:30 pm.  (The hospital staff was cool enough to let me have New Baby there in my Moby, so I was also nursing away my energy during those 7 hours.)

They complained a lot about their victim status and how much the caseworker hates them.  I just let them talk and tried to sound neutral to it all.

They also revealed some personal info that doesn’t help their case.  Minor, but perhaps telling.

Finally, the doctor we were waiting for showed up, said “Yep, do xyz.”  And left.  Seriously, he didn’t even need to lay eyes on Aaron; he could’ve just called us from where ever he was.  I think it was Canada, from how long it took him to get there.  Anyway…

The icing on the cake?  I could’ve left 20 minutes sooner, except Dad FELL ASLEEP in another part of the hospital.  So asleep he didn’t hear his phone ring over and over.

And that really typifies the parenting issues in this case: if it were just this one thing, there wouldn’t be a problem.  But it’s a million things just like this.